Katoke School off to a great start in 2018

2018 update:

It has been a great start to the year for Katoke-Lweru Secondary School. In this newsletter we hear how the School has benefited from the recent visits of Danebank School, Adrian and Lorna Jackson, Kevin and Valma Voigt and marketing consultants James and Alexis from The Ponderance Collective. We learn how the School continues to flourish under the experienced leadership of Ken Langford-Smith. We refer you to the first student-produced KLSS Newsletter which has been published and is available on our website. We also provide an update on the sponsorship program and share how the School is in desperate need for a new vehicle. We are seeking to raise $25,000 for the new vehicle before the end of the financial year.

Sponsorship transforms lives:

Anicetta Gregory, (pictured above receiving a pen from headmaster Ken Langford-Smith) is one of the mature-age students at Katoke-Lweru Secondary School.

Ancietta’s parents lost her parents when she was young and was raised by another family. Access to education was an economic issue for her adoptive family who had to budget school fees for their children. Her opportunities in life and future employment options changed dramatically when she was sponsored to attend school at KLSS. Anicetta proved to be an outstanding student and has recently completed her final Form 6 exams. She hopes to continue study at tertiary level. Sponsorship has provided a wonderful life-changing trajectory for her life.

There are 80 new Form 1 (Year 7) students including some 35 who are orphans or from poor families needing sponsorship. Most are being covered by our generous sponsors but there are 8 still needing support. Sponsorship is $26 a week. If you can help, please contact Lee King on 4294 1114 or email: sponsorship@katoke.com.au. Further details on sponsorship rates for 2018 are also included on our website.

Academic community update:

Head Ken Langford- Smith aims to consolidate relationships and friendly competition with other schools, to complement already strong academic results with music and singing. The school performed well at the Easter Student Christian Conference and produced a DVD. The KLSS UKWATA choir also won the regional Easter competition (See opening photo of this newsletter).

Positions vacant: 

The school has pressing need for an experienced IT person with knowledge of the internet and networks and an accountant to develop staff use of accounting software (MYOB) and reporting processes. There is also need for a tradesman with plumbing/ handyman skills to train someone local for maintenance.

Both positions are open to local employment candidates and international volunteers.

Building update:

We are delighted that builder Kevin Voigt, who with his wife, Valma, has been in Katoke for eight months. Kevin employed a large number of local labourers and, with his team, has completed a boys’ dorm (see photos below) and five teacher flats which look splendid and are now in full use.

Urgent need for a new School vehicle:

KLSS is 48 kilometres from Bukoba, the nearest major town and 20 kilometres from the nearest hospital, and doctors rooms, where frequent visits at all hours are made.

At time of writing there is only one vehicle, a well maintained but ageing Toyota Land Cruiser. With 560 students and more than 30 staff on campus, we have a pressing need for a second vehicle. The vehicle is currently used for the collection of essential school, building and food supplies, to transport students to and from the hospital (doctor and dentist), and for other errands and emergencies. We have set a fundraising target of $25,000 before the end of the financial year to purchase a vehicle.

The Katoke Trust committee in Australia would also encourage contact from anyone who may be connected with potential donors of vehicles, such as car companies.

Our school loves visitors :

Danebank students, who visit the school annually, came back from KLSS this year greatly enriched by their experiences of local, African life. Danebank was able to send six students to spend seven unforgettable days at Katoke in May (picture below with ‘buddy’ students). Teachers Mary-Ann Flick and Angela James mention special moments. Katoke Lweru School Principal, Ken Langford-Smith, was very helpful, conducting two special whole-school assemblies for the group; one a welcome, another a farewell.

The girls took part in classes and extracurricular activities. They visited several homes in local villages, gaining a wonderful insight into life in rural Tanzania to add to what they saw and heard at the school. The girls were continually amazed by what was happening, with comments like, “I didn’t think it would be like this,” almost every day. There were good discussions about what is important in life. The girls had opportunities to learn from those at Katoke, from tour guide Leonie Cox and other students, about Christian beliefs and how they can flourish in the real world alongside science, other areas of knowledge and life experiences.

Danebank teachers said it was lovely to see how the girls appreciated Faustina – a woman who assists with cooking and cleaning at the School. She is a mother of six, her daughters Stella and Salome are students sponsored by Danebank. Without the school Faustina’s family would have no income, her daughters no school. It reminded the girls of the school’s impact, not just on students but on the whole community.

The Danebank girls developed a wonderful rapport with Faustina. When it came time to leave, without prompting, all wrote her beautiful letters.

The group was fortunate to be present for Form 6 Graduation. It was an amazing day; entertainment involved choirs, dancing, comedy, acrobatics and a flamethrower on stilts. A very different experience for the girls!

Katoke Trust Treasurer Adrian Jackson and his wife, Lorna, spent six weeks at the school. He highlights things achieved, improvements and on-going needs. Adrian writes that the school is proving a wonderful initiative: a first-class institution, equipping young people with education and whole-of life experience.

We are very thankful for the recent visit of James Woodriff and Alexis Farr, from global creative and research consultancy, The Ponderance Collective, to Katoke. In their month-long visit they generously provided their marketing expertise, brand advice and content production skills probono. In their 5-week stay they were documenting and photographing various aspects of school and community life, including the Trust’s medical and agricultural projects. They also set out to tell some remarkable stories, including the journey of teacher Erica K Timotheo and how she came to be a teacher at KLSS. The work of Jimmy and Alexis will help the Trust with its future communication and fundraising go to the next level. You can learn more about their qualification to assist the Katoke Trust by viewing their website.

Upcoming events:


To find out how you can contribute further to the work of the Trust, including contributing to the new vehiclesponsoring a childmaking a gift in your will or contributing to other poverty relief projects please see the relevant sections of our website linked.

Thank you for sharing in this great endeavour.

The Katoke Trust, under God, is making a difference to extreme poverty in Tanzania.



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